May. 28th, 2016

maxomai: dog (dog)
Recently a friend of mine asked:

"But do you really think even if the DNC makes this compromise that Sanders supporters will vote Blue in the General Election?"

My answer is, yes, because part of that deal will be that Sanders rallies his supporters behind Clinton.

Sanders supporters talk a big game about how they won't back Clinton even if Sanders tells them to do so, but we can also look at a similar situation that happened in 2008 and see how those sentiments will eventually play out. Let's check polling data for how Clinton supporters (so-called PUMAs) felt about Obama at this time in the 2008 elections versus how Sanders supporters feel about Clinton now. A CNN exit poll conducted in May 2008 indicated that Clinton supporters would support Obama over McCain by 48-34. Gallup polled the same group before the Democratic Convention and found that support for Obama had improved to about 70%. By the time the convention was done it was over 80%. We can credit Clinton's "No Way, No How, No McCain" speech for that ten point rise. Eventually Clinton supporters backed Obama over McCain, 83-17.

As of this week, Clinton has 69% support amongst Sanders supporters, and their underlying sentiments are mostly hostile towards Trump. Sanders's job of getting his supporters to back Clinton is somewhat easier than Clinton's job was getting her supporters to back Obama. If we presume that Sanders knows (a) he won't be the nominee and (b) his legacy will be in how he makes the Democratic Party more progressive, then it's reasonable to assume that he'll conclude that a Clinton Presidency is better for his legacy than a Trump Presidency, and that he will, therefore, be one of Clinton's best advocates during and after the convention.

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